Praying for sun for world’s second oldest Highland Games

Burntisland Pipe Band will perform on the day
Burntisland Pipe Band will perform on the day

Almost double the number of runners are expected to take part in this year’s Burntisland Highland Games on Monday.

This will be the 365th year the event has taken place on the town’s Links and, because the event coincides with holidays in the Borders area, many athletes from that area of the country have registered to take part in the various sprints and races.

And with around 100 dancers, four from the Netherlands, set to compete in the Highland dancing and a visiting Scout group from Belgium, the second oldest Games in the world looks like being an exciting international event.

The weather is also looking favourable for the annual spectacle, and organisers are hoping for a really good turnout from the public.

David Jeffrey, president of the committee for the last nine years, says he is keeping his fingers crossed for good weather.

“I’ve heard the forecast is good,” he said.

“Fingers crossed it is true ,because good weather always gives the turnout a big boost.’’

His wife Janice, who is treasurer and has been on the committee for 16 years, says that anyone willing to lend a hand on the day would be welcome.

“The news is good on the entry front this year, with numbers for the running almost double that of last year.

“With the heavy events you can never tell, because they don’t have to book in advance.

‘‘It’s just a question of waiting to see who turns up.

‘‘But we are hoping there will be a good number too.”

This year’s Binn Hill Race, sponsored by Print Centres and open to anyone over the age of 12 who lives in the town, is set to be hotly contested.

The junior section for youngsters aged 12-16 is being sponsored by RunRecover coaching in the town.

Owner, Neil MacNicol, has been helping local youngsters by hosting familiarisation runs to prepare those wishing to take part who may not have done so before.

He will also be taking part on the day, ensuring everyone gets safely around the course.

The Exiles reception for former Burntislanders is held in the Burgh Chambers at 11am.

Once it is over, guests, led by Burntisland Pipe Band and the Summer Queen party will parade to the Links for the official opening by Games Chieftan Stuart Nicol and Fife Provost Jim Leishman at noon.

Parking in the centre of town is limited, and visitors are asked to take public transport if possible.